I’m going to tell y’all a sad story.
I live on the east side of Columbus, our capital, the largest city in Ohio, population nearly one million humans. Home to many universities. See the big-ass sadface on this map graphic below? I live in this area. See the red icons? Those are bookstores, and a non-trivial number of them are Barnes and Noble.
I do not have a friendly local bookstore, y’all. I don’t have an eclectic used bookstore with a hideous yet lovable bookstore cat where I can pop in and lovingly sniff the pages of old paperbacks. I exist in a bookstore deadzone.
Columbus does have a great library system and an INCREDIBLE indie bookstore, The Book Loft in German Village. The store spans an entire block, and inside you’ll find 32 (not a typo, that’s THIRTY TWO) rooms of books. But living in the suburbs with three young kids means we don’t get out much, especially into the city. If you ever visit Columbus, you need to make it a priority to get there.
If I had the time, nerve, and ambition, I’d open an indie bookstore here on the east side. For now, I visit the Barnes and Noble that’s closest to me. They put Romance front and center in the store at the front window, shouting it to the world, so at least there’s that.